Super Nintendo World has been a massive success at Universal Studios Japan, drawing guests from all over the country to experience an immersive world where Mario, Yoshi, and other beloved Nintendo characters come to life. And though it will be several more years before Super Nintendo World will be ready to go at Epic Universe in Orlando, the first US-based version of this land at Universal Studios Hollywood is nearing completion, with Universal confirming that this land will open in early 2023.
This is incredibly exciting for Nintendo fans, and if you just can't wait to see what's inside this new land, we've got a little preview for you that includes what you can expect from the very first Super Nintendo World in America
Just like inside Universal Studios Japan, the entrance to this new land will be a big green pipe, the likes of which Mario fans are very familiar with. As guests travel through the pipe they'll hear a familiar noise, and then will be able to see the world of Super Nintendo Land as they reach the other side.
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge will be the main attraction
The anchoring attraction of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood will be Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, which is an AR-assisted dark ride that allows guests to compete against one another in a three-dimensional world where they can race on iconic Mario Kart courses alongside Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach.
Guests who board this attraction will need to put on a special pair of goggles in order to see the world of Mario Kart come to life around them. Once the ride gets started it will use a combination of AR, projection mapping, and physical, moving set pieces that are placed along a moving ride track while riders collect coins, throw shells and more to win the Golden Cup.
The ride itself will be housed inside a massive replication of Bowser's Castle, and assuming the layout is similar to Japan, guests who enter the queue will find plenty of details from the various Mario games to check out as they make their way to the ride loading station.
Power-Up bands and interactive elements will be found throughout the land
One of the most popular elements of Super Nintendo Land in Japan is the area's use of power-up band wearable devices, which allow guests to feel like they're a part of the video game world and interact with certain elements around the land. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it looks like these special bands will be available at the Universal Studios Hollywood version of this land as well, allowing guests to trigger specific activities in the land, including the ability to save scores and see ride data from Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, and make certain characters come to life inside the new land with sounds and movement.
Guests in Japan are also able to participate in an over-arcing game in the land that allows them to fight bad guys and defeat bosses around the land using these bands. Though nothing has been confirmed yet about this specific experience coming to this version of the land, it seems likely that this type of activity will be available at Universal Studios Hollywood, especially since guests will need something else to do in this land besides ride the Mario Kart attraction, and it will be easier to sell Power-Up bands if they are as central to the experience of the land as the wands are at the nearby Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Design choices for the power-up band have not been released yet, but character bands featuring Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Toad, and Yoshi are currently available in Japan, and we'd imagine a similar lineup will be available early next year when the land opens.